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DNS-as-a-Service Guide

Red Hat OpenStack Platform 8

Integrate DNS Management with Red Hat OpenStack Platform

OpenStack Documentation Team


A guide for integrating DNS with Red Hat OpenStack Platform.

Chapter 1. Overview of DNSaaS

Red Hat OpenStack Platform 8 includes a Technology Preview of DNS-as-a-Service (DNSaaS), also known as Designate. DNSaaS includes a REST API for domain and record management, is multi-tenanted, and integrates with OpenStack Identity Service (keystone) for authentication. DNSaaS includes a framework for integration with Compute (nova) and OpenStack Networking (neutron) notifications, allowing auto-generated DNS records. In addition, DNSaaS includes integration support for Bind9.


DNS-as-a-Service (DNSaaS), also known as Designate, is available in this release as a Technology Preview, and therefore is not fully supported by Red Hat. It should only be used for testing, and should not be deployed in a production environment. For more information about Technology Preview features, see Scope of Coverage Details.

1.1. Topics covered in this guide

  • Manual DNSaaS installation steps, as DNSaaS is not currently included in Director deployment.
  • Managing and configuring DNSaaS from the command line interface.
  • Integration with Bind9, including auto-creation of instance records.

1.2. DNSaaS prerequisites

  • A fully functioning OpenStack Networking-based, non-HA OpenStack environment.
  • An OpenStack Image Service (glance) image loaded, for testing auto-creation.

1.3. DNSaaS services

A deployment of DNSaaS includes the following components:


Provides an OpenStack-native REST API.


Handles requests and coordinates storage in the mysql database.


A small MiniDNS server used only to communicate with other DNS servers over standard DNS protocol.


Manages the states of the DNS servers that DNSaaS manages. Ensures the backend DNS servers are in sync with DNSaaS.


An optional service that is used to listen to nova and neutron notification events to trigger automatic record creation/deletion.


Used for DNS servers that cannot accept zone transfers (AXFR). Not needed for BIND backends.


The zone-manager service is expected to be added in the next major release. It will run periodic tasks on zones to provide a mechanism for identifying lost events.

1.4. DNSaaS integration with Compute and OpenStack Networking

DNSaaS record management begins when the designate-sink service sends a message to designate-central, which then triggers the workflow described below:

1. designate-sink receives an instance boot/delete event from Compute, or a floating IP add/remove event from OpenStack Networking. These events are sent using the OpenStack message bus.

2. designate-sink constructs the FQDN of the host from the VM name and the configured domain ID (see below).

3. designate-sink tells designate-central to add/delete the record with the given name and IP address.

4. designate-central adds/deletes the record in the DNSaaS database (shared between designate-central and designate-mdns).

5. designate-central tells designate-pool-manager to send a DNS NOTIFY to the backend DNS server (BIND9) for this domain.

6. The backend DNS servers receive the DNS NOTIFY and send an AXFR (zone transfer) request to designate-mdns.

7. designate-mdns reads the changes from the database and sends them to the backend DNS servers in the AXFR response.

Chapter 2. Manual DNSaaS installation

1. Install the DNSaaS packages on the controller node:

# yum install openstack-designate-api openstack-designate-central openstack-designate-sink openstack-designate-pool-manager openstack-designate-mdns openstack-designate-common python-designate python-designateclient openstack-designate-agent

2. Create the DNSaaS and Pool Manager databases. Update the IDENTIFIED BY 'ComplexAlphanumericPassword' value to suit your environment.

# mysql -u root << EOF
GRANT ALL ON designate.* TO 'designate'@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'ComplexAlphanumericPassword';
GRANT ALL ON designate.* TO 'designate'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'ComplexAlphanumericPassword';
CREATE DATABASE designate_pool_manager;
GRANT ALL ON designate_pool_manager.* TO 'designate'@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'ComplexAlphanumericPassword';
GRANT ALL ON designate_pool_manager.* TO 'designate'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'ComplexAlphanumericPassword';

3. Create the DNSaaS service accounts and endpoint in OpenStack Identity (keystone): This example uses the DNSaaS host IP address You will likely need to update these steps to suit your environment.

$ openstack user create designate --password ComplexAlphanumericPassword --email designate@localhost
$ openstack role add --project service --user designate admin
$ openstack service create dns --name designate --description "Designate DNS Service"
$ openstack endpoint create --region RegionOne --publicurl --internalurl --adminurl designate

4. Add firewall rules for DNSaaS:

$ sudo iptables -I INPUT -p tcp -m multiport --dports 9001 -m comment --comment "designate incoming" -j ACCEPT
$ sudo iptables -I INPUT -p tcp -m multiport --dports 5354 -m comment --comment "Designate mdns incoming" -j ACCEPT

If hosting DNS locally, check that the required ports are open:

$ sudo iptables -I INPUT -p tcp -m multiport --dports 953 -m comment --comment "rndc incoming - bind only" -j ACCEPT
$ sudo service iptables save; sudo service iptables restart

5. Configure the DNSaaS database connection: Be sure to enter your DNSaaS host IP address correctly in the steps below; replace ComplexAlphanumericPassword with the value that aligns with your environment.

$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf storage:sqlalchemy connection mysql://designate:ComplexAlphanumericPassword@
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf storage:sqlalchemy max_retries -1
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf pool_manager_cache:sqlalchemy connection mysql://designate:ComplexAlphanumericPassword@
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf pool_manager_cache:sqlalchemy max_retries -1

6. Configure authentication to the Identity Service (keystone): Make certain that the admin_password option aligns with your environment.

$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf keystone_authtoken auth_uri
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf keystone_authtoken identity_uri
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf keystone_authtoken admin_tenant_name service
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf keystone_authtoken admin_user designate
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf keystone_authtoken admin_password ComplexAlphanumericPassword

7. Configure the DNSaaS connection to RabbitMQ:

Make certain the rabbit_userid and rabbit_password options align with your environment.

$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf oslo_messaging_rabbit rabbit_hosts
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf oslo_messaging_rabbit rabbit_ha_queues False
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf oslo_messaging_rabbit rabbit_host
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf oslo_messaging_rabbit rabbit_port 5672
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf oslo_messaging_rabbit rabbit_userid amqp_user
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf oslo_messaging_rabbit rabbit_password ComplexAlphanumericPassword
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf oslo_messaging_rabbit rabbit_virtual_host /

8. Add the initial DNSaaS configuration:

$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf DEFAULT notification_driver nova.openstack.common.notifier.rpc_notifier
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf DEFAULT notification_driver messaging
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf DEFAULT notification_topics notifications_designate
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf service:api api_host
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf service:api api_port 9001
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf service:api auth_strategy keystone
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf service:api enable_api_v1 True
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf service:api enabled_extensions_v1 "diagnostics, quotas, reports, sync, touch"
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf service:api enable_api_v2 True
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf service:api enabled_extensions_v2 "quotas, reports"

9. Configure the pool manager:


At present, you will not yet configure a pool target as you have not selected a backend. That occurs later in this procedure.

The pool_id is hardcoded, so use the UUID shown below:

# pool_id=794ccc2c-d751-44fe-b57f-8894c9f5c842
# nameserver_id=$(uuidgen)
# target_id=$(uuidgen)
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf service:pool_manager pool_id $pool_id
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf pool:$pool_id nameservers $nameserver_id
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf pool:$pool_id targets $target_id
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf pool_nameserver:$nameserver_id port 53
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf pool_nameserver:$nameserver_id host

10. Configure the DNSaaS Sink:


For now, you will not configure the domain used by sink (as it does not exist yet).

$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf service:sink enabled_notification_handlers "nova_fixed, neutron_floatingip"
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf handler:nova_fixed notification_topics notifications_designate
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf handler:nova_fixed control_exchange nova
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf handler:nova_fixed format "%(display_name)s.%(domain)s"
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf handler:neutron_floatingip notification_topics notifications_designate
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf handler:neutron_floatingip control_exchange neutron
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf handler:neutron_floatingip format "%(octet0)s-%(octet1)s-%(octet2)s-%(octet3)s.%(domain)s"

11. Configure Compute and OpenStack Networking to send notifications


Ceilometer’s agent also listens and consumes notifications. Create a specific Designate notifications queue (as shown below) so they don’t conflict.

OpenStack Compute in the Kilo release switched to messaging as its notification driver; previously it was nova.openstack.common.notifier.rpc_notifier

$ crudini --set /etc/nova/nova.conf DEFAULT notification_topics notifications,notifications_designate
$ crudini --set /etc/nova/nova.conf DEFAULT notify_on_state_change vm_and_task_state
$ crudini --set /etc/nova/nova.conf DEFAULT instance_usage_audit_period hour
$ crudini --set /etc/nova/nova.conf DEFAULT instance_usage_audit true
$ crudini --set /etc/neutron/neutron.conf DEFAULT notification_driver neutron.openstack.common.notifier.rpc_notifier
$ crudini --set /etc/neutron/neutron.conf DEFAULT notification_topics notifications,notifications_designate
$ sudo systemctl restart nova.service
$ sudo systemctl restart neutron.service

12. Manually verify the notification_driver in nova.conf:


Due to the possibility of multiple notification_drivers in nova.conf, the crudini command might cause problems. Check in the DEFAULT section to ensure you have these two entries:


If using a separate Compute node, it will need the following settings in nova.conf:

notification_driver =nova.openstack.common.notifier.rabbit_notifier,ceilometer.compute.nova_notifier
notification_driver =messaging

13. Sync the DNSaaS and Pool Manager cache:

# designate-manage database sync
# designate-manage pool-manager-cache sync

14. Enable and start the DNSaaS services:

# systemctl enable designate-central
# systemctl enable designate-api
# systemctl enable designate-mdns
# systemctl enable designate-pool-manager
# systemctl start designate-central
# systemctl start designate-api
# systemctl start designate-mdns
# systemctl start designate-pool-manager

At this point you have not created a DNS target for your pool, so don’t expect a functioning DNSaaS deployment yet.

Chapter 3. Install and Configure Bind9

These steps install Bind9, and then configure integration with DNSaaS.

3.1. Basic BIND Installation

1. Install the BIND packages:

# yum install bind bind-utils

2. Configure named to listen for incoming connections:

# cp /etc/named.conf /etc/named.conf.orig
# sed -i -e "s/listen-on port.*/listen-on port 53 {;; };/" /etc/named.conf

3.2. Configure BIND

1. Write to /etc/rndc.key:

# rndc-confgen -a

2. Add the following before options

# sed -i '/^options.*/i \
include "/etc/rndc.key"; \
controls { \
        inet allow { localhost; } keys { "rndc-key"; }; \
};' /etc/named.conf

3. Remove a few existing options you will rewrite later:

# sed -i '/allow-query.*/d' /etc/named.conf
# sed -i '/recursion.*/d' /etc/named.conf

4. Add the following after options:

# sed -i '/^options.*/a \
        allow-new-zones yes; \
        allow-query { any; }; \
        recursion no;' /etc/named.conf

5. Create the rndc configuration. For the Compute node, the rndc configuration must point to the DNS server. For example:

# cat << EOF > /etc/rndc.conf
include "/etc/rndc.key";
options {
        default-key "rndc-key";
        default-port 953;

6. Review the named configuration:

# named-checkconf /etc/named.conf

7. Correct the file permissions:

# setsebool -P named_write_master_zones on
# chmod g+w /var/named
# chown named:named /etc/rndc.conf
# chown named:named /etc/rndc.key
# chmod 600 /etc/rndc.key

8. Enable and start the named service:

# systemctl enable named
# systemctl start named

9. Validate named and rndc:

# dig @localhost localhost
# rndc status

3.3. Configure the DNSaaS Pool Target for BIND

1. Set the pool target configuration:

$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf pool_target:$target_id type bind9
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf pool_target:$target_id options "rndc_host:, rndc_port: 953, rndc_config_file: /etc/rndc.conf, rndc_key_file: /etc/rndc.key"
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf pool_target:$target_id masters

2. Restart DNSaaS to apply your pool changes:

# systemctl restart designate-api
# systemctl restart designate-central
# systemctl restart designate-mdns
# systemctl restart designate-pool-manager
# systemctl restart designate-sink

3.4. Test BIND

1. Perform the diagnostic commands below:

# netstat -tap | grep named
# netstat -tulpn | grep 53
# dig @

2. Check the DNSaaS Logs for errors. Ignore errors in Sink for now, as you have not modified its configuration.

# cd /var/log/designate
# tail api.log
# tail central.log
# tail mdns.log
# tail pool-manager.log
# tail sink.log

3.5. Test DNSaaS integration with BIND9

1. Create an entry for your server:

# designate server-create --name $(hostname).

2. Verify your DNS server record was previously created:

# designate server-list

3. Create a domain (don’t forget the . at the end of the --name option)

# designate domain-list
# designate domain-create --name --email
# DOMAINID=$(designate domain-list | grep | awk '{print $2}')

When creating a domain from designate against BIND, it is basically running a command similiar to this:

# rndc -s -p 953 -c /etc/rndc.conf -k /etc/rndc.key addzone '{ type slave; masters { port 5354; }; file ""; };'

4. Create a record and test lookup (don’t forget the . at the end of the --name option)

# designate record-create --name --type A --data $DOMAINID
# dig +short -p 53 @ A

3.6. Configure auto-generation of DNS records (nova fixed and neutron floating)

1. Modify the DNSaaS configuration for the example domain:

$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf handler:nova_fixed domain_id $DOMAINID
$ crudini --set /etc/designate/designate.conf handler:neutron_floatingip domain_id $DOMAINID
# systemctl restart designate-api
# systemctl restart designate-central
# systemctl restart designate-mdns
# systemctl restart designate-pool-manager
# systemctl restart designate-sink

2. Test OpenStack Compute (nova) record creation:

# glance image-list
# neutron net-list
# nova boot testserver --flavor m1.tiny --image cirros-0.3.4-x86_64 --key-name yourkey --security-groups default --nic net-id=<Private Net ID>

3. Check the Sink log:

Once the instance is up, you should see a create_record entry, if it has picked up the notification correctly:

# tail /var/log/designate/sink.log

Check in BIND

# dig +short @

If this doesn’t work, you can also check the files in /var/named.

3.7. Test OpenStack Networking floating IP record creation

1. Perform the diagnostic commands below (replace pubnet1 with a name appropriate for your environment):

# FLOATINGIP=$(neutron floatingip-create pubnet1 | grep floating_ip_address | awk '{print $4}')
# nova add-floating-ip testserver $FLOATINGIP
# DNSRESULT=$(echo $FLOATINGIP |sed 's/\./-/g')
# dig +short @ $DNSRESULT

2. You should see a create_record event in the log file:

# tail /var/log/designate/sink.log

3.8. Cleanup OpenStack Networking and Compute DNS entries

1. Remove the test floating IP created previously:

# nova remove-floating-ip testserver $FLOATINGIP

2. You should see a delete_record event in the log file:

# tail /var/log/designate/sink.log

And the record should now be removed.

3. Remove the testserver created previously:

# designate record-list $DOMAINID
# nova delete testserver

You should see another delete_record entry in the log file:

# tail /var/log/designate/sink.log

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